Summary: INTRO: 1) As we read in Mt.
1) As we read in Mt. 16:18, We saw were Jesus speaks of His church...
A) He promises "I will build my church"
B) & Even states, that not even the "gates of Hades" (ie. death) shall prevail against it.
2) Nothing short of Jesus' decision himself, could stop Him from founding & building His Church. Not even death.
3) It's not uncommon in our day to here people say [they need Jesus, but not the church].
A) Others... seem to have genuine love for Christ, desiring to follow Him... but they seem to have little use for "the church".
4) It seems to me this low estimation of the value of the church may be due to many different reasons: a couple of the more prominent ones may be:
A) A lack of true understanding of what scripture teaches about the church (many times because true thoughtfulness and Biblical reasoning has not taken place in a person's mind).
B) A misconception of the church, due to erronious ideas held by man. (ie. improper Teaching & therefore, improper learning).
1) As you may well know, most religious bodies try to show their "correctness" by tracing back to the beginning of their break off from another religious body.... The further back they feel they can go, the more correct they think they are!
2) Sound reasoning should tell us, it doesn't matter what our forefathers from the 1800's, 1700's, 1600's or even all the way back to 3AD said they believed & practiced!... they were not infallable... they could be wrong!
a) Therefore, Some leave themselves to blindly following rules & regulations that were created & constituted by man... for man.
b) There must be a better way!....
I believe there is! - If I wanted to grow a certain type of squash here in Lubbock, but the original plant was in Ammarilo... would I need to grow the vine from Amarilo to Lubbock? Of course not! -- we all know, All I would need to do, is take a seed from the squash in Amirlo, bring it here to Lubbock, and plant it here... the product would be the same.
Friends If the word were the seed (as it is sometimes reffered to in scripture), All I should have to do is take that seed and plant it -- would it not bring forth the same product it did 2000 yrs. ago on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2?
I submit, the ONLY way of knowing more about the TRUE church that Jesus built is by turning in the Scriptures & reading about it! (then implimenting what we read.)
5) Contrary to seeming Popular opinion, we need to know & be convinced... THERE IS A TRUE CHURCH! --- And finding this true church is not open to every man's different interpretation of Scripture..... There is a TRUE church....
A) It is "true" , in that Jesus built it and He himself is the corner stone...
B) Is is "True" in the sense that he selected a few, calling them "Apostles" & "prophets" who were foundation factors in this true church!
1) Anything less would be contrary to Eph. 2:20... Which tells us the TRUE church [has] been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone"
6) Some would claim "we couldn't possibly be in agreement about such topics as the church... because we all interpret the Bible differently... it's not as simple as saying 'lets all go by the Bible'!" (I had someone tell me this just the other day!)
A) The problem w/ that kind of thinking is: God apparently... "forgot" to make provisions for that our different interpretations of Scripture! -- B) The only allowance He made was for Unity among believers based upon proper understanding of TRUTH / Scripture! ---
1) When "believers" don't have unity the problem is w/ either the "Heart" or "Knowledge" of man... but it is certainly not w/ God's inability to communicate in such a way as to allow all men to understand the principles contained in Scripture alike.
1) Perhaps you recall the passage in John 17:
Jesus is praying for the unity of His discples, both those present w/ Him, and those of us who would come after them.
Vr. 11 Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
Vr. 14 I have given them Your word;...
Vrs. 17-18 "...sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Vr. 19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
Vr. 20 - 21 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.